Our friends at Defend Our NHS (DONHS) have been very prolific this week. Here are their 3 latest missives in chronological order . Number 3 is of particular interest to Wirralian NHS defenders:
Dear friends of the NHS
There is so much to tell you! Many developments are affecting our health service – most making the crisis worse – and it is difficult to know where to start.
- But first, can I introduce myself? DONHS held its AGM last month, the constitution was approved, and a new ‘executive team’ were elected. I am the chair this year and am looking forward to the challenge; the full list of team members is below*. Rest assured that DONHS will continue to operate as a democratic collective organisation.
- Our aims were agreed at the AGM. They are:
- To campaign to maintain or reinstate the National Health Service as a universal comprehensive service,publicly owned, publicly funded and publicly accountable, free at the point of need and funded from general taxation.
- To campaign for this aim particularly in Wirral, Merseyside.
- To do this in collaboration with other similar campaigns locally and nationally.
- To educate and inform to this end.
- TheAGM and a social event were held on the 70th birthday of the NHS. They followed a wonderful ‘picnic in the park’ in New Brighton when hundreds of people, young and old, spent a happy sunny day together, listened to lovely music, and shared a giant birthday cake. First in the queue for a slice were people born in 1948.
- Following the introduction of new data protection arrangements we emailed everyone on our list and asked people to positively subscribe to our aims and agree to remain in our database. You are one of 312 (at the time of writing) who chose to do so.All email communications will continue to be as ‘blind’ copies. There are also more than 2900 Facebook ‘friends’.
- That has been the good news. The remainder is rather bleak: nationally – and here in Wirral where most of our supporters live. Unbelievably Wirral Council, despite having resolved less than two years ago, to oppose the ‘STP’ and ‘accountable care’ system is now operating jointly with Wirral CCG to implement both. The names have been changed as part of the whole process of stealth and obfuscation. But ‘integrated care’ and ’place-based care’ still amount to the same: slash, trash and privatise.
- We are doing two things locally to oppose this betrayal and blatant ‘official’ disintegration of the NHS. In October there will be a crucial meeting of the Council/CCG Joint Strategic Commissioning Board. We will be there to make our views very clear. Please join us. (Unbelievably they locked us out of a recent Cheshire & Merseyside STP Board meeting so we picketed outside.) And please come to our next public meeting also in October when we will hear much more about this – and continue to discuss the local crisis in general practice.Details will be on Facebook and circulated nearer the time.
- Did you know about what was happening in Wirral? Unless you are expert in mining the various web sites you would have no idea about what they were doing to OUR health service. There has been no meaningful public engagement or consultation. We try to inform councillors and will continue to do so but too many have been compliant with their ‘leadership’.
- Talking of consultation… NHSE and the Secretary of State have been challenged legally about aspects of their changes and have finally got round to involving the public. The announcement of a consultation was sneaked out on the day that Parliament and the courts closed for the summer. Make your voice heard. How?https://www.events.england.nhs.uk/search/30/Icps and https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/proposed-contracting-arrangements-for-icps/ And watch out for further communications from us and other campaigns.
- How to keep up with the changes and how to fight back? Here are just some of the excellent sources of information and ideas:
Frank McEntaggart, Chair, Defend Our NHS
* Executive team 2018/19:
. Chair: Frank McEntaggart
- Secretary: Kevin Donovan
- Treasurer: Joe Kelly
- External relations officer: Judith Varley
- Research and policy officer: Celia Kelly
- Media officer: vacancy
- Members: Derek Timmins, Tim Watson, Gordon Keegan, Sue Keegan
Dear friends of the NHS
Apologies for another email so soon but this from 999 Call for the NHS deserves our support AND action.
Please help with this very important spanner we need to throw in the works.
NHS England is hoping that the consultation silly season will go un-noticed. We’ve noticed – and we want campaigners around the country to band together in fighting back.
Friends in Yorkshire at CK999 have responded to a consultation on the first SEVENTEEN treatments to be de-funded as of April 2019. No coincidence that these are all “elective care” treatments and will be readily available as fee-paying treatments…
(These are in addition to the cuts in Wirral about which we raised the alarm two years ago.)
Please visit this link CK99917 Treatments NHSE plan to cut
The link takes you to more information and you can read the CK999 response which has been prepared with the help of NHS staff.
If you agree with the responses given you can use them as a template for your own response to this travesty of a consultation.
Please encourage others in your network, family and friends to do the same.
Then we need letters to papers, radio shows, and posts on social media.
We will also be producing responses for the other current NHS England secret consultations.
Thank you. We really appreciate it.
Best wishes on behalf of DONHS
Dear friends of the NHS
Yes, a third email this week but we just had to share some VERY good news BUT also alert you to developments in the disturbing ‘integrated care’ saga affecting Wirral and many other places besides.
- This is the good news. PLEASE share it widely.
You will remember that we have been supporting two attempts to secure judicial reviews of the ongoing damage being done to our NHS.
We have been disappointed at rebuffs in the courts, including on seven distinct legal grounds in one case brought by our friends 999 Call for the NHS.
BUT this week the Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal on ALL SEVEN GROUNDS, with capped costs. This is despite NHS England’s dismissive claim to the Court of Appeal that there was no merit in any of the seven grounds for the appeal.
The immediate impact of this ruling is that NHS England’s consultation on the Accountable Care Organisation contract (rebranded as the Integrated Care Provider contract) is taking place about a contract that may not even be lawful.
- This brings us to the second issue.
Wirral Council and the local clinical commissioning group are steaming ahead with their integrated care plans when their fundamental basis may not be lawful.
There has been no meaningful public engagement or consultation about any of this yet they proceed. It could all go horribly wrong – and NHS staff and patients will be the victims of the mess.
That’s why we’ll be at their ‘joint commissioning’ meeting on TUESDAY at 2.00pm in BIRKENHEAD Town Hall.
Yet again this item appears at the bottom of their agenda: “That, under section 100 (A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined by the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) to that Act. The Public Interest test has been applied and favours exclusion.”
Please try to be there.
Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS
PS We have begun a crowd-funding appeal to raise money for our campaign. See this link.